Chronic Air Pollution in Pictou
CASLE has been following the air quality issues associated with the Northern Pulp Mill located in Abercrombie, near Pictou Nova Scotia. This mill emits 63% of all the particulate air pollution in the Province of Nova Scotia which is more than every other industry combined. In 2012 Northern Pulp emitted a level of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) that put them 336,900 % above the Federal Reporting Threshold level as set by Environment Canada. The mill is Number 6 on the list of all of Canada’s top polluters. Area residents have called upon authorities to enforce regulations and the Province of Nova Scotia has given the mill until May to comply. The effects of the mill’s emissions on air quality have received international attention and have even drawn the attention of renowned US based activist Erin Brockovich.
According to the World Health Organization air pollution from PM2.5 is a large contributor / cause of: strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases including asthma.
CASLE has concerns about the health effects on students in schools in the area who are being exposed on a continuing basis to this unprecedented level of air pollution. We are making our concerns known and joining the groups advocating for the mill’s emissions to be brought into compliance with the law.
Due Diligence at work:
CASLE is pleased to see yet another example of the high level of diligence and response capability in Nova Scotia schools. J.L. Ilsley High School in Halifax was recently undergoing some roof repairs. Some material containing asbestos fell into a library area. CASLE notes that the school authorities acted quickly to determine the level of risk to students to ensure they were completely safe. All parents were informed of the situation by way of an automatic calling system, and assurances were quickly provided. Testing and cleaning was carried out immediately.
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